Rising global costs are currently hampering the European import onions season. "The high sea freight prices obviously affect products with a relatively low value, like onions. But, it's not only sea freight that's costly. Everywhere in the world, the chain costs are higher than in previous years," says Joey Deen of Denimpex.
"This year's sky-high costs and the ample stock of old local onion crops means Europe is getting fewer onions. The latest export figures from New Zealand show that about 42% fewer onions have been sent to Europe as a whole. Last year about 69,000 tons were exported; this year, fortunately, that's only around 40,000 tons."
"We've imported yellow, red, and white onions from New Zealand, Chile, India, Egypt, and Mexico. The red and white onions are actually selling very well, despite being pricier. Yellow onions sales a slightly slower - most retailers are switching later than usual," Joey continues. "But I'm quite sure all the onions that come in before week 25 will eventually find their way. I do expect the onions arriving after week 25 will have more trouble getting to retailers."
"In Europe, supermarkets are increasingly selling 'local for local'. However, we're sure Europe will continue to have to import onions. This year, growers throughout Europe had a genuinely huge harvest. So, there's simply been much less need for imports. But if next year's harvests are normal, it will look much better again, provided sea freight prices adjust back down a bit," Joey concludes.